What are the environmental health issues often associated with low income and minority communities and why are they more prevalent in these groups?
Low income and minority communities are already burdened with greater rates of disease, limited access to health care, other health disparities, and they are they're living with the worst environmental conditions and are also subject to environmental health concerns due to the fact they are usually next to or in close proximity to waste sites, being subjected to harmful chemicals in poorly maintained housing, or through exposure to pesticides. There is even scientific evidence to back up these facts. Evidence gained in the past decade has shown that various aspects of the environment can have profound effects on both physical and mental health outcomes, adding to the burden of illnesses among minority populations and low-income communities. Lack of sidewalks, bike paths, and recreational areas in some communities discourages physical activity and contributes to obesity but, in those low-income areas that do have such amenities; the threat of crime keeps many people inside. Income segregation is the practice of housing the poor in discrete areas of a city. Lack of a supermarket in these neighborhoods limits resident’s access to healthy foods. Out dated housing is associated with exposure to lead, asthma triggers, and mental health stressors. I believe an environmental injustice exists when people who come from an economically disadvantaged background, ethnic, minority or other groups suffer due to environmental risks or hazards and are denied access to information, participation in decision making, or access to justice in environment-related matters. The residents of these areas should be made aware by the state or government of the decisions made and allowed to take action to avoid becoming victims.
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